Helen: Building Trust

Helen was in an abusive relationship and worried she may have contracted HIV. As a recent immigrant to the United States, she had few resources and no support system. Summoning all her strength, Helen walked out of her apartment and her relationship, knowing she had to move forward and seek a better life. With only the clothes on her back, she went directly to Lifelong for help.

At Lifelong, Helen learned she was HIV positive. Her case managers immediately started building trust to ensure that Helen would come back for help. They gave her a voucher for Lifelong’s thrift store so she could buy clothes. They found her transitional housing and began working to find her an apartment that would feel like home. As Helen later noted, it was her case manager’s compassion that kept her coming back.

In the two years that Lifelong has worked with Helen, her case managers have seen her rise above her HIV diagnosis and personal hardship. Her viral load is now undetectable. She has a job as a home health aide, she recently got her green card, and has started nursing school. Helen lives in her own apartment where she feels safe. With Lifelong’s help, she has come a long way since that day she decided to take control of her life.

It was her lifelong case manager's compassion that kept her coming back